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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    This is highly annoying. I've been meaning to whine about it for some time, but now that I have spent all afternoon cleaning up the Dartek feed I am mad again.

    At record 28,942 I get "Can't write to file xxx.htm" Yes that was record twenty-eight thousand.

    Here is the other part I hate. Where's the Log file? Someone told me once to "Just go look in the log file." Guess what?, there's no log file and never has been. Maybe my PC doesn't like log files and eats them?

    Please don't get this confused with WM encountering errors and displaying a box that has comments on records (which is good). There wasn't one of those. The app just stopped dead, and asked me if it was ok. It wasn't. The log that one gets after an error isn't real great anyhow because if you close it, it is gone forever. It doesn't write to a file anywhere!

    Okay, I'm done. I'll go the naughty record in the data and kill it, and try the whole thing again.

    Fred

    You might just be a Spammer if - Your welcome mat says, "You'd better have a search warrant."

  2. #2
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    Maybe there is something wrong with record 28,942 like a missing separator or an extra separator or whatever.

    Make a copy of your file, delete record 28,941 28,942 and 28,943 and give it a new try. If you now have a problem at record 28,955 for instance there is a problem at the end of your datafeed.

    If the problems are gone, have a closer look at record 28,942 There must be something wrong.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    There was, and I usually do.

    In fact, I had been working through the feed all day long, fixing this and fixing that.

    My rant was about WM's handling of the problem, which was to simply stop everything and quit. It did tell me which record was a problem. What is funny here, is that the record in question really didn't have anything wrong that I could see. I am familiar with most everything that would cuase a problem like that.

    What I did do that is interesting, was to remove all the old files from the directory where the files were written to. That actually fixed the problem. I got to record number 33,342 of 34,300 and thought I had better quit while I was ahead.

    And that log file Wait, there is no log file !

    Fred

    You might just be a Spammer if - Your welcome mat says, "You'd better have a search warrant."

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    At record 28,942 I get "Can't write to file xxx.htm" _Yes that was record twenty-eight thousand._<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Glad to see it's kicking out most of your tens of thousands of pages reliably.

    File I/O errors are rare, and cn come from many potential issues. In this case I can only guess about solutions since you didn't mention which version you were using, but here are some possible solutions:

    - You may be using the beta release of WebMerge 2.3 on OS X, attempting to generate pages with a title longer than 31 characters. This has been corrected here, and in the next beta release generated file names will be appropriately trucncated to 31 characters.

    - You may be using Windows and attempting to generate a file whose name is longer than 255 characters. This has also been corrected, and the next beta will truncate names to 255 characters.

    One thing to keep in mind with long file names: if you have two files whose names are so long they get truncated, there is a risk that one may overwrite another. For example, if you had MyReallyLongLongLongFileName.html and MyReallyLongLongLongFileNameOther.html, on Mac OS both would be truncated to MyReallyLongLongLongFileNam.html.

    I realize there's a modest SEO benefit to having meaningful names, but I strongly recommend using only fields containing unique identifiers, such as product IDs, for file names.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>OHere is the other part I hate. Where's the Log file? Someone told me once to "Just go look in the log file." Guess what?, there's no log file and never has been. Maybe my PC doesn't like log files and eats them?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You can turn on logging in the Generation tab.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  5. #5
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    I have been experiancing this problem too and it is driving me mad. I'm using Webmerge 2.2 on Windows. Webmerge keeps crashing on record 20798.

    My file names are all much shorter the 255 characters. I've tried clearing all output files from the directory, deleting the problem record and the adjacent records, and retyping the trouble records. Nothing seems to help.

    Unlike buy_online i am not really familiar with everything that could cause a problem with the data feed and a list of things to check would be helpful. I generated my tab delimited file in excel but even in notepad I can't see anything that looks suspicious.

    I am really at my wit's end after several days of staring at this. Any advice would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Jon

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ThinkFind:
    I have been experiancing this problem too and it is driving me mad. I'm using Webmerge 2.2 on Windows. Webmerge keeps crashing on record 20798.

    My file names are all much shorter the 255 characters. I've tried clearing all output files from the directory, deleting the problem record and the adjacent records, and retyping the trouble records. Nothing seems to help.

    Unlike buy_online i am not really familiar with everything that could cause a problem with the data feed and a list of things to check would be helpful. I generated my tab delimited file in excel but even in notepad I can't see anything that looks suspicious.

    I am really at my wit's end after several days of staring at this. Any advice would be helpful.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First and foremost, if you experience a problem please write to me in email so I can address it. There's no need for any paying customer to lose significant time when you get technical support for free with your purchase.

    When you send a support email be sure to include your reg code, OS version, WebMerge version, amount of mempory installed, and any relevant files needed to reproduce the problem (templates, settings file, and a portion of your source export file less than 2MBs).

    When you write "crash" do you mean a true crash or a freeze? I've had no reports of a true crash in WebMerge since before v1.0 was released, but if you are experiencing one I definitely want to address it: please send the exact text of the Windows error dialog in an email to me.

    WebMerge 2.3 now includes a Debugger (see the Tools menu). You could have it run to a specified record, at which it will pause so you can see what it thinks the data and tags look like.

    Another simpler test would be to make a copy of the data and delete records 1 through 20,797 and see if the poblem still occurs. That will narrow down whether the issue is related to limited memory or is specific to the record in question.

    Another test would be to delete the troublesome record and run it again. That will certify that the problem is specific to data in that record.

    If these tests do not lead you to a solution please trim the source file down to the fewest records that exhibit the issue and email it to me along with your settings files and templates and I'll see what I can find.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  7. #7
    Newbie tfmurphhk's Avatar
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    Unable to write to file....
    This thread seems to have ended suddenly in October of 2003 so I am a bit hesitant to bring it back up again.... however....

    I am new to DF and to WM but have been experimenting with a large file that I got from FunToCollect (I know there are rumors of their demise but for testing/learning purposes, their file is fine)

    I am trying to build a 4 tiered site based on Frank's Tutorial. When I do, using the FTC full file (4,xxx) records, I get to a point and suddenly WM stops and says something like "unable to write to file yyyyyyy".

    After working with it many times I concluded that there was nothing wrong with the file... or that record where the WM stopped. In fact, it did not always stop on the same record.

    What I have concluded (at least in my opinion) is that WM is trying to create files, and them open them and write to them, faster than my PC is able to do that. Pretty odd as I do have a rather new PC with lots of memory... but anyway. When I simply re-start the run, it will go further into the DF and stop again. I recently did this start-stop-start-stop-start on the 4,xxx file and it finally finished successfully. I then ran a second and third pass to create the 4 tiers and all went very smoothly.

    So... does anyone agree with me that perhaps the "create folder" is happening a bit slower than the "write to that folder" is able to handle?

    Just my 2cents... but it sure seems to me like that is what is happening here.

    Here is the System Info from my WM:

    System Profile
    Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 9:15 AM

    Application: WebMerge
    Version: 2.3
    Location: C:/Program Files/4W WebMerge 2.3/4W WebMerge 2.3.exe
    System: NT 5.1
    UI style: Windows 95
    CPU Type: x86
    Screen resolution: 1024 X 768
    Window bounding rect: 0,0,1024,734
    Screen depth: 32-bit
    Screen type: DirectColor
    Screen gamma: 2.2
    QuickTime version: 6.3.0
    Sound volume: 39%
    Printer paper size: 8.5 X 11
    Print scale: 1
    Avilable disk space: 33531.2 Mb



    Tom
    [color=black][b]Tom[/b][/color]
    [size=1][b][color=Blue][i]“Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.” [/i][/color][/b][/size][color=Gray][size=1]
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfmurphhk
    This thread seems to have ended suddenly in October of 2003 so I am a bit hesitant to bring it back up again...
    Please never feel shy about discussing problems with any aspect of using the software. Given the wide range of tasks WebMerge is used for, keeping me apprised of issues as they come up is the best way to help me identify and resolve them quickly.

    ...suddenly WM stops and says something like "unable to write to file yyyyyyy".

    After working with it many times I concluded that there was nothing wrong with the file... or that record where the WM stopped. In fact, it did not always stop on the same record.
    That's an important detail; thank you for including that.

    Knowing that it doesn't happen on the same record lets us rule out most problems with the feed's data for that record with some degree of confidence, so we can focus on other possible causes.


    What I have concluded (at least in my opinion) is that WM is trying to create files, and them open them and write to them, faster than my PC is able to do that.
    Given the appearance of the symptoms that's not a bad guess, but considering what's happening under the hood my guess is it's something else:

    When WebMerge tells the OS to write a file, it stops doing everything else until the OS returns either a "no error" code or a code that attempts to describe the error.

    Most of the time it works out well; modern systems are fast enough that even a lot of disk activity can be handled gracefully -- we have some customers regularly generating more than 50,000 pages at a time without difficulty.

    When there is an issue, unfortunately the range of causes is usually much broader than an OS will specifically identify, so in most cases a returned error codes tend to be somewhat generic (on the order of "sorry, didn't work out, not sure why").

    As part of the ongoing maintenance of the program I'm always adding more specific error messages for a variety of conditions throughout the process --I added almost a half dozen for specific types of errors in WebMerge 2.4.

    Once we can pin down the root cause in your case I may be able to do the same for this issue as well, so in the future we'll have more specific information to work from.

    Fortunately these sorts of issues have been reported for fewer than 0.05% of users, and like you only in a minority of their runs. All previous cases have been resolved, so I'm confident we can do the same for you once we figure out what's going on.


    So... does anyone agree with me that perhaps the "create folder" is happening a bit slower than the "write to that folder" is able to handle?
    With a complex threaded OS we can't completely rule that out, but WebMerge itself is not threaded so such a "race condition" seems unlikely: WebMerge follows pretty much the same process for making folders as it does for files, stopping everything else it's doing until the OS tells it the folder was created successfully.

    We also can't rule out that the OS may be reporting the success of a folder creation inaccurately, giving a "no error" code when in fact there was an error. One way to check that would be to note the path shown in the "Can't write" error dialog, and see if the folder exists. If the path is good then the issue lies with the file, but if not it may be with the folder.

    It may be difficult to determine, but it would be helpful to know if the file throwing the error is consistently the first file in a given folder. If so, this might help explain why the number of files successfully completed is always larger than the last run.

    If you have time on your hands you could use the built-in Debugger as a sort of throttle to slow things down. To use it just open your settings file as normal, then choose Tools->Debugger.

    When the Debugger window is open WebMerge reports diagnostic info there. You can step from tag to tag and record to record if you want to see how WebMerge is parsing things, but to use it as a throttle just click the button labeled "Continue to End" -- it'll process all of the records, but because it's also updating the Debugger window it'll run _much_ more slowly than normal.

    If the problem is indeed a race condition in the OS this should help us pin that down.

    Please keep me posted on how that goes, and whether the path to the file is good or is also missing its folder.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  9. #9
    Newbie tfmurphhk's Avatar
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    Well I am not sure I have time to do all the debugging.... but thank you for the quick reply and info.

    I can tell you this, that every time it stopped with the "cant write to file" error, I looked in the destination directory, and the folder that it said it could not write to (or could not open, I forget now exactly the wording) was in fact the last folder in the list. Implying that it had written the folder and was trying to open it.. but was unable to open it.. quite yet.

    I will do some more test runs in a day or so and perhaps can shed some more light on it.. but I seem to feel that, for the moment.. the workaround for me is to just rerun and rerun until EOJ

    Tom
    [color=black][b]Tom[/b][/color]
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  10. #10
    Newbie tfmurphhk's Avatar
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    One more thing I perhaps should mention...

    Take this as a bug report or suggested improvement... whatever.

    Early on in my learning phase (hell, I am still very early on) I finished Frank's Tutorial and decided to use my own live data (from FTC) and created my own setting file based on what I had learned from Frank. It was to be a 4 tiered site so on the generation tab I called in one of Franks setting files.

    When the job ran, it got thru my setting file and then started to run Franks.. and bombed. The message was someting again like Unable to write to directory... (sorry, I should copy down these error messages in more detail). I was stumped but eventually found that while my setting file was calling for the creation of data in an existing file... Frank's setting file was calling for it to go to D:/webmerge/public_html/ or something.. which did NOT exist on my system.

    My point here I guess is that the message should perhaps be more specific... like "Trying to write to a directory that does not exist"... or better yet, "Trying to write to a directory that does not exist.... would you like to creat it now?". I have other programs that do that (may even be a Windows option).

    After a lot of looking around I realized that this was my problem and I changed that part of Frank's tutorial to match my system. But it took me quite some time to realize what the problems was...

    This was of course before my latest problem that we have already discussed...

    Anyway, just some user feedback for you to mull over.
    [color=black][b]Tom[/b][/color]
    [size=1][b][color=Blue][i]“Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.” [/i][/color][/b][/size][color=Gray][size=1]
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